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Recumbent Exercise Bike vs. Upright Exercise Bike

recumbent bike vs upright bikeAcclaimed by doctors and trainers alike, exercise bikes have amassed legions of avid fans from all over the world. However, with new and increasingly innovative models flooding the market, making the proper choice can be quite a complicated affair. Several people are also unfamiliar with the features of recumbent and upright exercise bikes, resulting in the wrong choice. Indeed, before you decide to go for either one of these two models, it’s quite important to properly acquaint yourself with the pros and cons of each bike.

Upright Exercise Bike

Your overall physical health and fitness plays a major part in selecting an adequate exercise bike. For example, if you’re no novice to cycling and if you’re in a good physical condition without any lower back complications, an upright bike might be the best choice for you. These have been especially designed to mimic regular outdoors bikes and encourage the body to lean forward, hence engaging the abdomen area through the entire workout.

If you’re on a restricted budget, it’s good to know that upright exercise bikes run far cheaper than recumbent ones. More importantly, they require very little space and can easily be transferred from one room to the other. This type of equipment also promises a plethora of fat-blasting movements and postures. For example, upright bikes allow the user to stand up and pedal, something which is not at all feasible on the recumbent.

On the downside, however, upright bikes aren’t known for their comfortable seats. Quite on the contrary, these seats are often hard and unyielding, something which can dampen long workouts. As such, this type of exercise bike is not recommended for the elderly as it tends to put quite a lot of strain on the lower back, coxis and knees. Since the user is seated at a moderately high gravitational center, the bike may even lose some of its stability, particularly during intense workouts.

Recumbent Exercise bike

One of the main reasons why people purchase recumbent exercise bikes such as Horizon Fitness RC-30 is because they are much more comfortable than upright ones: gym-goers can enjoy an effective albeit smooth workout while they sit back, read a good book or watch a movie. In fact, the seating position is so exquisitely comfortable that you may very easily spend up to two- or more- hours on the bike without any of the uncomfortable aches and tears that usually accompany upright models. This bike adjusts the body into an extremely flexible angle, while taking all the pressure off your knees and lower back.

Several people believe that because of the added comfort, the body won’t burn as much calories as with upright ones and this is true, but only to a certain extent. In fact, from a cardiovascular perspective, recumbent exercise bikes do provide less of an effective workout. Having said that, recumbent bikes burn roughly the same amount of calories than its counterpart, even if it doesn’t force the body to endure the same aerobic process. Indeed, both models encourage the body to spend approximately 450 to 500 calories per hour, depending on your weight and gender.

On the flip side, while calorie control is not an issue, recumbent exercise bikes do not encourage much sweating which means that the body does not release as much toxins as it should. A gradual built-up of toxins might eventually lead to a bloated abdomen, which counteracts the hours you’ve spent pedaling away. This type of exercise bike also demands more effort from the thighs and lower hips, leaving the waist nearly immobile, which can be detrimental to anyone who wants to sculpt their upper body.

Which one should you go for?

All in all, it’s important to really take the time to weigh the pros and the cons before investing in any exercise bike. If you’re not on a limited budget and if you would like to indulge in some added comfort during your workout, then by all means go for a recumbent exercise bike. The health benefits might be just a tad lower than with an upright one but then again, it does lower the risks of injuring your knee or lower back and, to make things even better, you can even find some really affordable models, such as the Exerpeutic 900XL.